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Posted On Tuesday, 03.05.2013 / 6:50 PM

By Alain Poupart -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Byfuglien will play for Jets vs. Florida

SUNRISE, Fla. Winnipeg Jets defenseman Dustin Byfuglien made it to the BB&T Center in time for Tuesday night’s game against the Florida Panthers.

Byfuglien flew home Monday to attend to a personal matter, and Jets coach Claude Noel said after Tuesday’s morning skate that the defenseman was scheduled to land in Fort Lauderdale shortly after 5 p.m. ET.

Byfuglien leads the Jets in average ice time at 24:43. He has three goals and 10 points in 16 games.

Posted On Tuesday, 03.05.2013 / 6:02 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Richards out for Rangers vs. Flyers

NEW YORK -- The New York Rangers confirmed shortly before 6 p.m. ET that center Brad Richards will not be in the lineup Tuesday night when they take on the Philadelphia Flyers at Madison Square Garden (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN2).

Physical forward Micheal Haley, who was called up from Connecticut of the American Hockey League earlier in the day, will take Richards' spot in the lineup. It's not known if Haley will play center or if another forward will move to the middle.

Richards is still dealing with the after-effects (soreness, stiffness) of the check from behind Buffalo Sabres forward Patrick Kaleta delivered during Sunday's shootout victory. Richards, who didn't miss a shift in the game Sunday, was driven headfirst into the left-wing boards; Kaleta was suspended five games by the NHL's Department of Player Safety.

Richards skipped practice Monday and briefly skated Tuesday morning at the team's suburban training facility, but he left the ice quickly and did not address the media.

Posted On Tuesday, 03.05.2013 / 5:50 PM

By Kevin Woodley -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Kearns ready for Sharks' debut in his hometown

VANCOUVER -- This week just keeps getting better and better for Bracken Kearns.

First he got the call from the San Jose Sharks on Sunday, saying he'd been called up from the American Hockey League after veteran forward Martin Havlat was hurt on Saturday. Then he checked the schedule and saw the Sharks' next game was in his hometown of Vancouver against a Canucks team that his father, Dennis, played more than a decade for. Then he got put on San Jose's top line with Joe Thornton and Logan Couture.

For a late bloomer with just five NHL games in eight professional seasons, it may even top playing his first NHL game with the Florida Panthers on Oct. 20, 2011.

"That was a big deal for me," Kearns said of his NHL debut, "But coming here and getting to play with Thornton and Couture, it's just incredible. I checked the schedule and I couldn't believe it, so I am pretty pumped."

Posted On Tuesday, 03.05.2013 / 5:22 PM

By Kevin Woodley -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Ballard back in Canucks lineup after being scratch

VANCOUVER -- Defenseman Keith Ballard wasn’t happy watching the Vancouver Canucks' past two games from the press box as a healthy scratch, something that has happened more often than he’d like over his three seasons with the team.

Ballard does not, however, want to be traded out of Vancouver, speculation that began when his agent was quoted as planning to talk to the team. The beleaguered blueliner still prefers fighting for ice time on a good team to playing a lot more on a bad one, something he knows all too well from spending his first five NHL seasons out of the Stanley Cup Playoffs with the Florida Panthers and Phoenix Coyotes.

“First five years, I played 25 minutes, up by one, down by one, PP, PK, over the boards every other shift,” Ballard said. “We finished 26th, 27th, 29th, and whatever in the League, and it’s not fun. It’s fun playing a lot. It’s fun getting those opportunities. It’s fun taking the one-timer on the 5-on-3, but it [stinks] losing. Regardless of what happens here, or how long I’m here, I like it here because of that fact (it’s a winning team). It’s a good group.”

Posted On Tuesday, 03.05.2013 / 4:54 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Devils sticking with Hedberg against Lightning

New Jersey Devils goalie Johan Hedberg will get his sixth consecutive start when they play the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday night.

There had been some speculation rookie Keith Kinkaid could make his NHL debut after Hedberg gave up four goals on 23 shots in a 4-2 loss Monday at the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Posted On Tuesday, 03.05.2013 / 4:45 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Maple Leafs sign Holzer to two-year extension

The Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday announced a two-year contract extension for defenseman Korbinian Holzer. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Holzer, 25, has played 16 games for the Leafs this season scoring two goals and registering 19 minutes in penalties. He recorded his first NHL goal, which was also the game-winner, in the Leafs' 3-2 win at Washington on Feb. 5

The 6-foot-3, 205-pound defenseman is tied for third on the team in blocked shots with 37. He has also skated in 34 games for the American Hockey League's Toronto Marlies in 2012-13 collecting a goal, eight points and 28 penalty minutes.

Holzer, a native of Munich, Germany, has represented his country at several international tournaments including the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, the 2010 and 2011 IIHF World Championship, and the 2007 IIHF World Junior Championship.

Posted On Tuesday, 03.05.2013 / 4:42 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Report: Devils recall Janssen

The New Jersey Devils have recalled right wing Cam Janssen from Albany of the American Hockey League, according to The (Bergen) Record.

Janssen was a minus-1 in three games with the Devils this season prior to be placed on waivers Jan. 31 and reassigned to Albany. In 14 AHL games, he has two assists and 37 penalty minutes.

In 311 NHL games with the Devils and St. Louis Blues, Janssen has 11 points and 750 penalty minutes.

Posted On Tuesday, 03.05.2013 / 4:34 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Penguins sign Kostopoulos to two-way deal

The Pittsburgh Penguins have signed right wing Tom Kostopoulos to a one-year, two-way contract.

The deal is worth $600,000 at the NHL level. Kostopoulos will be placed on waivers at noon ET on Tuesday, and if he clears will be assigned to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre of the American Hockey League.

Posted On Tuesday, 03.05.2013 / 4:06 PM

By Kevin Woodley -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Canucks' Bieksa to sit out vs. Sharks

VANCOUVER -- Defenseman Kevin Bieksa remains out of the Vancouver Canucks lineup for a second straight game Tuesday after aggravating a groin injury in his return from the same injury Saturday.

Bieksa, who averages 21:32 of ice time and plays on the power play and penalty kill for the Canucks, missed two games before coming back to play against the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday. He finished that game, but did not play Sunday on the road against the Calgary Flames, and was not back on the ice for the game-day skate Tuesday morning ahead of Tuesday night's game against the San Jose Sharks.

"He's day to day," Canucks coach Alain Vigneault said. "Everybody that watched that game, he was quick, he was strong 1-on-1, and then towards the end of the game, one hit, one push, and he felt it again. He finished the game and didn't think anything of it. Next day [he] got up and was real stiff."

Bieksa is expected to join the team on a three-game road trip that starts Thursday against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Here are the rest of the projected lines and defense pairings for Tuesday's game between the Sharks and Canucks at Rogers Arena:

Posted On Tuesday, 03.05.2013 / 3:58 PM

By Curtis Zupke -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Blues insert Cole back in lineup, look at Arnott

LOS ANGELES -- St. Louis Blues coach Ken Hitchcock knows full well what's in store when he plays the Los Angeles Kings: a lot of big bodies flying around.

That's largely why Hitchcock will insert Ian Cole back on defense when St. Louis plays L.A. on Tuesday night. The 6-foot-1, 219-pound Cole will be needed against some of the Kings' big forwards such as Jeff Carter and Dustin Brown.

"The opponent dictates that," Hitchcock said. "They've got a big lineup and Ian's played OK against them. ... I think just from getting bounced around standpoint, when you play L.A. you're going to get bounced around. You've just got to fight through it.

"They're a big team, but they're a big, smart team. I mean, there's a difference. There's lots of big teams in the League, but they're a big, smart team, which I think makes a big difference."

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After being through it and seeing the other [outdoor] games on TV, just the atmosphere is spectacular. To stand here -- and we are essentially almost on the blue line -- and look up [into the stands] and knowing it is going to be packed and playing our biggest rival in this setting is going to be pretty special.

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